Friday, May 15, 2009

CUPCAKES!!!!!!!!!!!



Available June 1st!

Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat (Paperback)
By: Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Dessert lovers and bakers alike are craving cupcakes. From specialty shops and baking products to television specials and blogs, the must-have dessert has continued to grow in popularity and has become one of the most searched-for terms on marthastewart.com.

Now, Martha Stewart and her team of editors at Martha Stewart Living have created Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, featuring 175 ideas and recipes for cupcakes, frostings, fillings, and toppings, along with a trove of suggestions for tastefully decorating and embellishing them.

From classics such as devil’s food cupcakes to sweet surprises like peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, and from elegant delicacies like tiny cherry-almond tea cakes to festive showstoppers topped with piped buttercream blossoms or meringue bouquets, each cupcake is accompanied by a gorgeous color photograph. They will inspire home bakers of any skill level, all of whom will find a cupcake for every occasion—birthdays, holidays, and special days such as weddings and showers—as well as for everyday enjoyment.

Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes also includes templates and clip art for decorative flourishes, an equipment glossary, and step-by-step instructions for basic and more advanced decorating techniques, plus ideas for presenting and packaging the cupcakes in Martha’s trademark style.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some new scrappy stuff

It's been a while. I know. But I just haven't had the time to do a darn tootin' creative thing. That's why I am so glad I still design and write articles for Scrapjazz. It forces me to actually sit down and make something. :) Here's what I've been up to:


SuperFan

I created this for an upcoming baseball article. It was from my son's birthday party last year. Good times. :)



Pumpkins

This is for my monthly assignment. I had to use Pink Paislee and Petaloo. I am in love with the Pink Paislee chipboard. It is adhesive! just peel and stick it wherever you like. LOVE it!



Wonderful

A card I made for a friend to wish her a wonderful birthday. This is all Stampin' Up products.



China

This is for a fun series of color combination challenge articles that I am writing for Scrapjazz.



Thanks

This is a card I made from the scraps form my China layout and it uses the color combination as well.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Savings Update

or should I say spending update. :O I tried my hardest not to spend a dime on Thursday but it didn't work. Natty wanted hot lunch again and I had to go to the p.o. I think I am their best customer. But, both of those trips only set me back a few dollars.

Spent:
Hot Lunch: $2.50
USPS: $6.43

Now Friday was a whole nother story. :O I realized quickly that I would not be able to pull together an album for my Mom for Mother's Day so I went shopping and got her linen capris, a tunic and sandals to match. Everything was on sale! While I was there, I also picked up some gym socks for myself. With all of this working out going on, I realized I do not have enough sweat socks. Total was $68.18.

Then the grocery store for supplies for pizza night and some staples. Total was $63.39. Again, everything I bought was on sale and by using my shopper's card I saved $14.38. And by using 3 reusable grocery bags, I saved an additional 6 cents.

Friday Totals:

Spent: $131.57
Saved: $14.44

Monthly Totals:

Spent: $273.69
Saved: $31.28

I think I'll be happy if I can keep my spending total to around $500.00 this month but it might be tough. We still need to get our haircuts and buy food and paper goods, etc. for Dylan's party at the end of the month. Wish me luck! I think I'm gonna need it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Fun Invite

A few years ago I started sending picture birthday party invites to my family. The first one I did was when Dylan was 8 and it said something like Dylan is 8 let's celebrate. Then for his 10 year old birthday party I had him hold up ten fingers and had the fabulous Libby Weifenbach design a digivite. So, now his 11th birthday is coming up and I must admit I was perplexed as to what to do. But, Suzie Bee came to the rescue and this is what I got....



I love it!!!!! Thank you Suzie!!!! You ROCK!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wednesday's Totals

Wednesday's Totals:
Spent:
Stamp at USPS - $.42
2 donuts at Dunkin Donuts - $2.15

Monthly Totals:
Spent: $142.12
Saved: $16.84

FREE KFC

In keeping with the whole money saving and eating healthier theme here is a link for free grilled chicken from KFC. You must download the coupon before 11:59 tonight. It is valid until May 19th. And the only exclusion is on Mother's Day.

http://www.unthinkfc.com/KFCPdf.pdf

Enjoy!

Mo

Wednesday

Just to clarify some things, we are trying to do this as a family however, my hubby is thee worst offender. He eats out for lunch everyday in Manhattan where it costs like ten buck for a slice of pizza and a drink. He is much more aware on the weekends when I am around to hound him. LOL!

But, since I am really the main money manager in the house, I took this on myself.

In response to April's bread post, I did make my own bread last week and it was delish. Yes, I own an automatic breadmaker. ;) The kiddos devoured it. So, we plan on making a loaf or two a week. This should help cut down costs and be healthier too.

I am trying to eat cleaner these days and eliminate all the processed foods that we put into our bodies. And, I can see and feel the difference already.

On another note, I am experimenting with the all cash theory. I was one to never every carry cash around but that has gotten me into trouble. With credit cards and debit cards you really never know exatly how much you are spending. But if you allot yourself a certan amount of cash to carry around and use, once it is gone it is gone, you can really keep your spending in check. So far so good but we are only 6 days into May. :O

So there you have it.

I'll be back with Wednesday's totals later on today.

TTFN!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday Totals

I had high hopes for not spending a dime today. They were quickly dashed as soon as my daughter woke up and informed me that she wanted hot lunch today. So there goes $2.50.

Then my hubby tells me we need juice and if we are having pasta tonight he wants bread and salad. And, there went another $11.88.

I did use my shopper's card and reusable bag at the grocery store so I saved $1.05.

Tomorrow is not looking good either because it is horseback riding and I always get Dylan a donut at DD as a treat for him waiting for an hour for his sister at a smelly farm. LOL!!!

Thursday will be the day I spend nada, zip, zero, zilch. I hope. ;)

Tuesday's Totals:
Spent: $14.38
Saved: $1.05

Monthly Totals:
Spent: $139.55
Saved: $16.84

Monday, May 04, 2009

Savings Updates

Sunday:

We went out for dinner at our favorite Chinese buffet and spent $48.37. Not bad for a family of 4. Then Stew bought a cd that he has been wanting at Borders because they were all 50% off. He spent $9.63.

Total for Sunday: $58.00

Monday:

Spent:
USPS to mail a gift: $2.19
A&P for bananas and 2 more boxes of Shredded Wheat: $5.91
Girl Scout Leader gift: $10.00

Savings:
$5.98 at A&P using my shopper's card.
.42 for postage stamp on Mother's Day card. I used one I took off a card I received thatwasn't cancelled.

Totals for Monday:

Spent: $18.10
Saved: $6.40

May Totals to Date:

Spent: $125.17
Saved: $15.79

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Some Updates...

Baseball Update



This is the face of a boy whose team is 3-0 and just won their last game 14-0. It was a perfect day for baseball. It was sunny and 69. Dylan walked twice, stole twice, scored a run and flied out. Baseball is going well. :)


Money Saving Update

Since we had back-to-back sporting events, I packed lunch, snacks and drinks for everybody. That avoided numerous expensive trips to the food truck. :)

I had to fill up my car today but this will last me for the entire week if I don't make any unnecessary trips. Total cost: $25.00

We are eating in tonight, shrimp over linguine with hot sauce, garlic bread and salad. I had everything but the hot sauce. So, I headed out to the A&P to pick up hot sauce, fat free milk, which we finished yesterday, orange juice, since we are low and to see what killer sales they had. I ended up getting Post Shredded Wheat for Stew for $2.00 and a couple of boxes of 100 calorie snack packs for $2.00 each to put in the kids' lunch boxes. My total bill came to $16.67. By using my shopper's card I saved $8.97, more than half of my total bill. I think I done good. :)

Recap:

Total Spent: Gas - $25.00
Groceries - $16.67

Total Saved: $8.97

I hope to have days where I actually spend ZERO! I think I could do it on a weekday no problem. We'll see.

Dinner Update

I had to let you know that the grilled salisbury chicken was Awe-Some! And the rice krispie treats with the jam were perfectly sweet. Go make them both. ;)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Money Saving May

Money Saving May

It's May 1st and this month and I have joined Karen's challenge to see how little I can spend...of course things like the mortgage, electric, etc, are a must so I'm not going to count those expenses here. I think I'm a pretty good saver already but I know I could be saving a lot more each month if I tried a little harder. I thought I'd share some of the things that I plan to do to save and maybe you can too.

1. Post my goals...to spend less and account for each and every thing I spend.

2. No bookstores. On the weekends, we used to live at the bookstore but now we are going to use our local library exclusively. As a matter of fact, we just made a trip there yesterday after school.

3. Shop sales. Every week the supermarket circulars come in the mail. I go through them and decide which store has the better sales and shop there. I also try and limit the amount of non-sale items I buy. I love seeing the bottom of the bill where it shows the total you saved. One time I saved almost as much as I spent. :)

4. Use coupons. I've been doing this for a few weeks thanks to Karen and I have to agree with Karen, it's kind of fun. I really want to get to a place where I do not buy anything unless it is either on sale or I have a coupon.

5. Use Reusable grocery bags. Stop & Shop pays you 5 cents per bag every time you use one at checkout. A&P pays you 2 cents.

6. Eat more meals at home. We used to eat out at least 3 meals on the weekends and now we are down to one. If we eat lunch out on Saturday, I cook dinner on Saturday night. This will save us at over $100.00, maybe even more. We spend way too much on food.

7. DIY. I'm going to start doing more things myself. I just gave myself a manicure today and it doesn't look half bad.

8. I always take my own coffee and lunch to work and my kiddos hardly eat school lunch. At $2.50 a school lunch, I know I save a ton there.

9. Bring back library books ON TIME! What good is it if they are free when you have to pay a late fee!? This is a big one in our house. So, I implemented a system that I think will help with this. I tape our printout on the fridge so everytime I open it, I am reminded of the due date. Also, we have bags that we use to tote our books back and forth to the library. I will keep them hanging on their doors and when they are done with a book, they are to put it in the bag. In the morning, I'll check the bags and return any books on my way home from work. :)

10. Homemade Gifts. For Mother's Day, I plan on making my sister a beaded bracelet with my supplies on hand so this will cost me nothing. I also plan on making my mother an album. And, I already have a scarf in the works for my sister for Christmas. For end-of-the-year teacher gifts, I will be making card sets from supplies on hand.

I'm sure there are TONS more I could do. As I find more cost-cutting ways, I'll be sure to share them with you. :) I'd love to hear any tips you have too?

May 1

What I spent: $6.33 on heavy cream, raspberry jam and a card at Stop & Shop. I know I could have made the card but I really needed to get the gift out. It was overdue as it is.

$1.07 on a pack of 3 large mailers at the dollar store. I needed something in which to mail the gift.

How I saved:

I used my Stop & Shop card and saved

Made a birthday card for a friend out of scrapbooking supplies and used a postage stamp that was not cancelled on a card sent to me. :)

Spent this month: $7.40

Dessert Tonight

Flower Rice Krispie Treats. YUM! And pretty too. :)

Dinner Tonight


Grilled Salisbury Chicken

serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups of sliced button mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced thin, about 2 cups
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise for thin cutlets
salt and pepper
olive oil
8 ounces of noodles such as Klusksi egg noodles, cooked and drained
chopped fresh parsley for garnish



In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has almost melted, add the mushrooms and onions and saute for 6 - 8 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute. Stir in the stock and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in the sage, cream, salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and keep sauce warm while the chicken is cooked.


Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Brush chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for about 3 - 4 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the cutlets. Do not over cook or the chicken will be dry.


To serve place noodles on a platter and top with grilled chicken and the Salisbury sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.


For more great recipes, make sure to visit...
http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com